German musical artistic collective The Ocean are back after 5 years break, their previous album Pelagial was released back then and the band was very active on the live front but no new music was on the horizon for quite a while. But everyone who is aware of The Ocean’s modus operandi knows that this troop is not in hunt of some superficial stardom, instead every of their musical outings is truly artistic statement and in the same time part of the bigger picture. Finally the time has come and similar to 2010’s Heliocentric/Anthropocentric double release, The Ocean has announced their new outing and the first part of that whole entitled Phanerozoic I: Palaezoic is in front of us and we will have to wait until 2020 to hear the next one. I guess that the wait will be filled with curiosity but in the same time, The Ocean has given us a lot to chew over with this release until that day finally comes. As with previous releases, band’s mastermind Robin Staps has written the music in solitude near the sea and when it comes to concept, Phanerozoic I: Palaezoic is missing link between 2007’s Precambrian and already mentioned Heliocentric/Anthropocentric. As Robin himself has said already, the album’s concept revolves around Nietzche’s idea of eternal recurrence, that everything in nature comes and goes in circles which music backs up with its hypnotic grooves. It must be mentioned that Katatonia’s own Jonas Renkse is doing guest vocals on Devonian: Nascent and he fits like a glove in overall sound displayed on the record. When it comes to musical direction, I could say that Heliocentric/Anthropocentric truly sounds like missing link between two already mentioned eras of the band; so you will get to hear monstrous sludgy attacks interwoven with more progressive tendencies primarily displayed on Heliocentric. While we are at it, I have to notice that post metal/sludge can often sound loose and out of control and it is very impressive how The Ocean always succeed to sound artistic and gigantic in their execution. Every part of Phanerozoic I: Palaezoic is carefully calculated and part of a great whole and it is truly a sight to behold how bands like The Ocean still give great care to concepts like albums, telling a story, creating art instead of shitty bubblegum bands that flood even metal scene of today. So the final verdict is, of course, to check out the album as soon as it is available and see all of this for yourself!
- Trifunovic Slobodan (8,5)
- Metal Blade Records CD